Dog Is Protective And Aggressive Towards People And Animals At Home
I have a beautiful 4 year old German shepherd. He is a very loyal companion but has serious aggression issues with other animals. He is great with people but again has issues when they first enter our home. He also gets very aggressive if anything (man, child or other animal) attempts to enter our bedroom. I love this dog and am looking for training help so that we can enjoy life together amongst other pets and their owners. Hoping that you can help me!
Answer: As you know this breed is a herding and protection breed, naturally suspicious of all things that is not directly related to their family. You mentioned he is aggressive towards other animals, I am not clear if that is ALL animals or just dogs? Clarification would be helpful on this.
As for him being aggressive around your bedroom, I am assuming he is also allowed in there and is keeping "family" out? as usually strangers would not be going into your bedroom. So I am going to address that one first. Many dogs decide that the human bedroom/bed is a place that they can "guard" from other members of the family, be it husband, wives, kids ( although more unusual) and other dogs/cats etc. This is relatively easy to deal with by simply taking the "bedroom" privileges away from the dog. Your dog appears ( on paper as I have not met him) to have set himself up above even yourself and your husband and decides who can do what or go into your bedroom because he must be in there himself, so first of all he has to be denied admission to your room. If you must have him in there, then he has to have his own crate or bed but NOT allowed on the bed itself. If he were my dog, my bedroom would be off limits - to him completely. But with this comes losing a lot of privileges initially..things that we are so used to our dog having as part of our family that we don't always think about them as being anything special.
Your dog needs to be relieved of his position of "guarding" you and or your family, sometimes that is hard for people to give up on especially if we got a breed specifically for that. But all the time your dog is allowed to take this position without the owner having complete control in training, ( example, police dog is trained to track down and hold/bite a person but when asked, immediately gives up that person's leg/arm hold etc..to play with toy) It is not the dog being aggressive, it is a trained dog doing as he or she is told, the handler is in complete control of the dogs' actions.) Your dog has decided NOT with your permission to do something similar without the training, so it means going back to basics to some degree to re establish who has leadership in your family...you or your dog?
This is a very quick version based on your letter, but in my experience, there are always other factors going on when dogs act like this...I do not believe that there are many true aggressive dogs in this world ( as in born bad) but I do believe that there can be aggression issues based upon dynamics in a household and yes sometimes based upon breeding/breed.